How to Create a Family-Friendly Entryway Gallery Wall
- picture hanging kit (containing sawtooth hangers, eyehooks and picture wire)
- picture nails
- framed photos
- lightweight objects
- measuring tape
- shallow containers or floating shelves
Add and Update Hanging Hardware
In order to arrange art, framed photographs and objects efficiently and safely, it's important to first add proper hanging hardware. Lightweight pieces without glass can be hung with sawtooth hangers which simply attach to the frame's back with small nails (Image 1). Larger pieces of art or objects with unevenly distributed weight should be hung with eyehooks and picture wire (Image 2). Note: For safety reasons, it's best to use acrylic instead of glass when framing art or photography, especially in homes with active kids.
Start in the Center
Hanging a long object in the center, like these oars, will help to visually anchor the collection. Once the oars were in place, all the other elements were arranged around them. Use a measuring tape to create consistent spacing between each object and keep pieces straight with a level.
Work From the Center Outward
To achieve a random look, each element should be added to the wall, working from the center outward. This casual gallery wall features a mix of objects, but the look is balanced thanks to proper spacing. As you make your way up, down and across the wall, keep the distance between each element consistent.
Leave Breathing Room for Sculptural Objects
Sculptural objects, like this moose, need a bit more breathing room than framed objects. The extra spacing will help to visually frame the sculptural object, highlighting its shape.
Incorporate Shadow Boxes
To keep unframed pieces from falling flat, place them in shadow boxes before hanging. The deep frame will add depth and create a look that's more graphic.
Group Kids' Art
For maximum impact, hang kids' artwork together. Pair smaller unframed pieces with larger ones, placing them next to pieces with more elaborate frames. The mix of raw and refined presentation adds to the casual look.
Contain and Display Small Objects
For a playful touch, incorporate small, cherished objects such as toys or action figures. To keep them from getting lost or looking like clutter, arrange them in groupings inside of easy-to-hang containers or small, floating shelves.
Choose High-Impact Lighting
Although the gallery wall is intended to be the focus of the entry, it's equally important to choose the proper lighting. Ornate chandeliers or hefty, solid pendant lights may block the collection or detract from it, resulting in a cluttered look. Instead, stick with sculptural pendants or chandeliers with graphic shapes which will stand out from the gallery wall instead of getting lost in it or competing with the arranged pieces.